U.S. environmental, indigenous leaders deliver strong message of opposition to Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project

Leaders meet with Canadian Consulate to address concerns over Canada’s buyout of Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, which includes Puget Sound Pipeline in Washington state

Consulate meeting

SEATTLE, WA — Environmental and indigenous leaders from Washington state met with the Consulate General of Canada today to reiterate their strong opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in British Columbia.

In the meeting, the leaders raised concerns over the recent Canadian federal government buy out of the pipeline expansion project — which includes the Puget Sound Pipeline spur that runs to four refineries in Washington state.

ONLINE: A recording of the press conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/cascadechapter/videos/10156412960689921/

After the meeting, leaders who attended the meeting, as well as other representatives, held a press conference and issued the following statements:

“Local governments, Puget Sound tribes, B.C. First Nations, our state government, and the British Columbia provincial government — we all have in common our fundamental duty to protect public health, public safety, clean water, treaty rights, and our irreplaceable natural resources. This recent decision by the Canadian government to purchase the pipeline, paving the way for its expansion, undermines any notion that they will act in the best interest of Salish Sea communities.” —Dow Constantine, King County Executive and leader of the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance (SELA)

“As a young person, an indigenous person, and a woman, I’m absolutely appalled by the decision made last week for Canada to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline. In today’s meeting with the Canadian Consulate, not once did they mention what they are going to do for indigenous peoples. I am absolutely appalled by that. It shows how Canada treats its indigenous peoples.” —Kayah George, member of Tulalip Tribe in Washington State and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia

“We’re angry — this is not fair. This is more than a pipeline issue for Canadians. This is an issue for how the government has treated indigenous people for hundreds of years — and it’s now an issue affecting the safety of American citizens. We’re here to protect our future generations — we’re protectors, not protesters.” —Cedar George-Parker, member of Tulalip Tribe in Washington State and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia

“The Canadian tar sands industry is a climate catastrophe in the making. Make no mistake — Justin Trudeau’s bailout of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, his hopes to boost the flow of tar sands oil into Washington state and through Salish Sea waters, and his self-serving doublespeak — they all represent a betrayal. They are not the acts of a good global neighbor.” —Clark Williams-Derry, Director of Energy Finance at Sightline Institute

“Will George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation put it best when he said ‘this changes nothing.’ This $4.5B bailout may fly in the face of indigenous rights, basic humans rights, climate sanity, and basic economics — but it does not change the unwavering commitment of our movement.” —Kurtis Dengler, Organizer at Mosquito Fleet  

“San Juan Island residents remain concerned over the impacts of a diluted bitumen oil spill in our shared waters. The impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales, salmon, and human safety have not been addressed by the Canadian federal government. In addition to the risks from a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic from this project, the potential increases in tanker traffic from U.S. refineries fed by the Puget Sound Pipeline create added risks that have not even been evaluated.” —Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director at Friends of the San Juans

“Investing in this project is similar to using public funds for the tobacco industry or the asbestos industry. As physicians, health workers, and health advocates, we urge this subsidy to the fossil fuel industry to be stopped, and instead funding to be increased for renewables and conservation. This is crucial for the health of our children and our grandchildren. We have no time to lose.” —Dr. Margaret Kitchell, retired physician and member of the Climate & Health Task Force at Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

“To Mr. Trudeau and potential investors in the Trans Mountain Pipeline — we want to let you know this pipeline will never be built. Canada needs to know the U.S. will fight this until the end. Up and down the West Coast, when we fight these projects we win. And we will win on this one too.” —Matt Krogh, Extreme Oil Campaign Director at Stand.earth

“We are no longer in a business as usual world, but in a global climate emergency. It’s simply unacceptable to expand tar sands production. We understand the difficulties this will pose for Alberta, and we support a just transition for workers and economies as part of a global climate mobilization. If think we can continue to expand our fossil fuel frontier and not wreck the world for our children, we are kidding ourselves.” —Patrick Mazza, Co-Facilitator of 350 Seattle Community Solutions Workgroup

“In British Columbia and in Washington state, we are united in our opposition to this pipeline. We are united to protect the Salish Sea, our communities, our economy, and our climate. This buyout of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline — including the Puget Sound Pipeline spur that feeds four northern refineries in Washington state — underscores the critical need to move away from tar sands and away from fossil fuels.” —Rebecca Ponzio, Campaign Director at Stand Up to Oil Coalition

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary, Stand.earth, virginia@stand.earth, 510-858-9902 (US), 778-984-3994 (Canada)